Labor Day made me stop and think about work. Like most of you guys, I work to fish.
Time at work is spent thinking about when I can get on the water next. While I’m working my current job in landscaping, I’m thinking about my new job in bass fishing.
I started a landscape company shortly after graduating from University of Kentucky two years ago. I majored in landscape architecture with the goal to start my own company for the flexibility of schedule. It has worked out great as I have been able to make decent money and been able to fish when I wanted.
Owning my own business also has been a great learning experience that will help me in professional fishing. Some of the same business skills in the landscaping industry are shared with the fishing industry.
As a business owner, I have learned how to sell, something that is very important in obtaining sponsors. In landscaping, I’m selling my knowledge and the ability to create outdoor living spaces. In bass fishing, I’m selling my knowledge and ability to promote a company and its products.
One thing they taught us at UK is that business is all about branding. My company is a design-build landscape company that seeks to specialize in environmentally sustainable practices, and that sets us apart from other companies. It gives us something else to bring to the table than just your everyday landscaping.
I am currently working on branding myself to appeal to sponsors. Representing collegiate fishing next year on the Elites is one way that I can brand myself. College bass fishing is great for our sport, and I would like to work with companies that want to help promote it as much as I do.
Speaking of sponsors, I just signed my first sponsorship deal for this next season. I’m real excited about working with this company and I think it will be a great opportunity for both of us. The story behind the company and how I met them is one for another time … so stay tuned.
Now that the ball is rolling with sponsorships and the Elite schedule is out, my dream of becoming a professional fisherman is turning into a reality.
I am currently scheduling some pre-practice trips for this fall on some of the fisheries that I haven’t been to. I think the schedule is awesome and can’t wait to get it started.
But until then, I will keep working on sponsors and in landscaping to save as much money as I can now, so I can fully focus on fishing when the season starts.
Remember to chase your dreams!